Archive for the ‘Grumbling’ Category

Dick Moves: A Musical Collection

January 31, 2016

As some of you might know from my various FB posts, tweets, & Instagram shots, I host the local Open Mic Night here in sleepy Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia every Tuesday night at a lovely little (dive) bar. It is not everyone’s cup of tea, but the longer I am there the more I can feel it turning into my kind of place. Things have settled into a nice groove of sorts (pun intended), but of course, like any job, it is not without it’s own perks and particulars.

For starters, there was….the start.

I was riding my bike out to school one fine sunny morning, perhaps last April, maybe May, when I get a phone call from a person whom I had never received a call from before. It was the owner of the venue. My mind immediately went into a state of worry, and anxiety took over as I waited for the inevitable. You see, a few days prior I had actually been at the venue, and somehow on my ride home I must have crashed into something, because I woke up the next day with a fairly dinged bicycle and a shoulder injury that still isn’t quite right.

Mark, you blew it. You are in trouble for sure.

I assumed he was calling to tell me that I had crashed into a car in the street or something like that, and that I’d have to pay for damages and that I would be banned for a year or…you get the idea.  You can imagine my relief when he merely wanted to talk about Open Mic Night. That was all. No need for panic.

So, yada yada yada, he gets to the point which is this: “We’re looking for someone young, who’s talented, who’s got the personality, who’s going to help bring all the hot girls in on Tuesday nights, and I was thinking…”

Yes? Go On.

-“That you could help us find someone?”

Oh.

Long story short, I did help them find someone young, talented, & good looking, but he was kind of boring so they eventually asked me to take over and here we are.

Of course, I have a habit of overdoing things, and this is no exception. Instead of simply bringing a guitar and setting up the PA and making sure the night runs smoothly, I’ve started bringing in more gear like drums, a bass amp, & a guitar amp in the hope of fostering more of a musical community and generally just trying to make things a little better. After all, if someone is blowing chunks on guitar and destroying a song on stage, it can make things a little better if they’ve at least got a steady beat behind them.  Not a lot better, mind you, but better nonetheless.

With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of Dick Moves that appear from time to time…

1. Don’t ask to go up again: you’ve already played once. You’re not going to get any better. I’m sorry there are more people here now than there were before. Life is very unfair. You should know that by now.

2. Don’t hop on the drums and tune them up and change everything around. This is not a “gig”, you are not a superstar, and none of this shit matters. If you can’t make music on what is already there, you can’t make music period.

[As a rule of thumb, the more uptight and wanky someone is about their gear, the more likely they are to suck as a musician.]

3. Don’t try and bring your own drums in either. No one cares. It’s a beat. Play it.

4. Don’t murder well known songs. Seriously, this is not practice time. This is a chance to show the world a new song you’ve been working on, or show off an old favourite. Whatever, just don’t turn someone’s delight at hearing the first chords of “oh, this is a song I like” into “What the fuck is he doing?!?!”

5. This is not art, but it can be. If you don’t know how to walk that fine line, best not to try. [Trust us: you probably don’t know how to walk that fine line.]

6. Don’t sit in the front row and sing along to shit you don’t know. Best not to sing along at all, really, but some forms are acceptable.

7. Wonderwall: Just. Don’t. Do. It.

I bet there’s more than I’ve drunkenly scribbled down somewhere and lost, but all of this is really just a lead-up into posting a video that we did for the latest Royal Chant LP and forgot to post it for you all to see.

It’s called “Dick Move”, of course, and was created, filmed, and edited by my very good friend Matt Clements who is a film-maker living in NYC. I’ll spare you the details on how we managed to appear in the video without leaving Australia, but you can probably figure it out on your own (if you haven’t already).

[FYI: this video was banned from ABC Television here in Australia because “it contains excessive commercial branding.

As stated in the ABC Editorial Policies:

11.7 Product Placement must not be unduly frequent or prominent

12.2 Commercial references must not be unduly frequent or unduly prominent]

Seeing as how we’re a broke-ass indie band, all we can think is A) give us a break. No one cares, and B) what else we were supposed to use? Geez….

Anyway, if you like the video please show the director some love, because in a cruel twist in the ways of the world, the band always gets credit for a film clip, even though all they did was write the song and then stand around for a bit in front of the cameras. I’m not saying that writing a song is no big deal, but in terms of man-hours that go into a music clip, the people involved behind the camera are the only ones doing any actual work.

Here’s the album, if this is your kind of thing. It’s free, because of course.

That’s all from here. It’s Sunday AM. The cat is awake. I’m on my third cup of tea already. I’m going surfing.

xoxo

 

 

Sigh

December 16, 2015

This is a sad little blog these days. I came here to do a little bit of tidying up and it was the equivalent of coming home late to dinner to find out that it is your anniversary and dinner is cold. 7 years. That’s how long this pile of verbiage has been around, at least according to the stats or whatever guilt meter wordpress uses to keep track of things.

But that’s gonna change.

I’m changing.

I swear.

Torture Diary

September 9, 2014

It is week 9 of the current school term. One week to go. The sun is shining, it’s a nice day out, and there is nothing especially wrong in my little corner of the world.  Just my usual litany of envy, first-world complaints, and generic disgruntlement.

With that in mind, I’ve decided that today I will torture my students, one by one, by making them learn beats and then playing along to the worst recorded examples of them. First up…

Period 1: Too-Much-Basketball Kid

Despite the fact that he spends too much time on the basketball court and doesn’t really practice all that much, I rather like this student.  A nice kid with good manners who usually pays his tuition fees on time is A-OK in my books.  He’s got a decent enough dose of musical ability to kinda be OK at anything he tries his hand at, so overall we have enjoyable lessons.  But I can’t let my emotions get in the way of my objective. I give him a two-fer, starting off with “Word Up”, by Cameo.

That’s 4:39 of pain.

Just to make sure he never forgets who is in charge, I make him play “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. I have never heard this song in its entirety nor seen the music clip, but sometimes we all have to make sacrifices to inflict a little pain.

Neither his feet nor his hands can keep up, but I make him keep trying and failing just for the sake of it.

Period 2: Cool Afro Kid

We usually work on snare drum technique or mallets or something else that will sound like nonsense to your ears, but since most of our equipment is currently being used at another school we were forced to work on congas today. Other than “Oye Como Va”, there wasn’t anything especially tortuous about this lesson.  I let my guard down. Am I getting soft?

Here’s a clip of of the late, great Tito Puente acting like a total goofball in his later years. Of course, he was making gazillions of dollars at this point of his career, so I’d probably be smiling like that too. Bless him.

We finished our lesson by checking out the insane solos on “Ti Mon Bo”. The bongo solo is my favourite (that’s the first one), but the conga solo (second), and Tito’s beautiful phrasing in the final solo are all something special.

I need to recalibrate and find my focus, but there’s no time before….

Period 3: Sucky-Know-It-All-In-Year-7 Kid

Like most know-it-alls, this kid know doesn’t know his ass from his elbow, which means that he’s playing random definitely not-in-time shit while a metronome blasts away to seemingly no avail. I spend today’s lesson banging out the correct rhythms on a cowbell while he keeps shaking his head and acting like he doesn’t know how to FUCKING. COUNT. TO. 4.

Pure torture. For me. This is all going downhill. I take some consolation in knowing that he’s not enjoying himself and is just starting to realize how much he really doesn’t know.  Convinced I see the beginnings of tears welling in his eyes before the bell goes, I give myself a bonus point.

RECESS: I go to the teacher’s lounge and just hate everyone for no good reason.  They are all very nice. I get a cup of tea. I scurry back to my room. Here’s “Teenager Of The Year” by Lo-Tel, also for no good reason.

Period 4: The Metal Kid

Alright, I know I’ve got to turn this ship around, but he comes out firing and catches me off guard with “The Beast and the Harlot” by Avenge Sevenfold.

At no point in my life have I ever felt my existence was hollow due to a lack of metal. Do you have any idea what’s it’s like trying to explain a shitty drum transcription of a shitty song to a kid who has shitty reading skills? It sucks, but only gets worse because I’m dumb enough to put on the video so not only do I have to hear this shite I now get visual proof that this goth-pop is made by wankers who should have stopped shopping at Hot topic a long, long time ago.  I double-down by listening to the lyrics and that’s when I really start to lose it.  Right before the bell goes I cue up this tasty 4-on-the-floor number, but he is out the door before he feels anything.

I’m getting discouraged but enjoy the song anyway.

Period 5: Why-Are-You-Asking-Me-Questions-I-Can’t-Possibly-Know-The-Answer-To Kid

I got my beating stick ready, just in case….

photo

But alas, it was not to be. We instead worked on drum line exercises, which although a noble cause left me feeling defeated, alone, & confused. What is happening to me?

Here’s “You Don’t Know How It Feels” by Tom Petty.  I use this one for the really hopeless kids.  It’s slow, it’s repetitive, it grooves, and I don’t want to blow my brains out. Kind of missing my objective, but what can I do by this point?

LUNCH: I eat an apple and make another cup of tea.  Hiding in my room.

Period 6: Really-Nice-Young-Man-Who-I’ve-Perhaps-Overestimated-His-Musical-Abilities Kid

Doesn’t show up. He’s gone for the day. The final opportunity to make one last stand and redeem my day  has evaporated in the afternoon sun. I tried. I failed. It happens.

Here’s “Teenage FBI by Guided By Voices, because this is about as much of the teenage years as I can handle right now.

Holler back if it’s been a while. It gets lonely out here.

-M

 

Jesus

March 14, 2014

This is not a course on nor discussion of theology, but merely a reaction to another senseless murder in the U S of A. You can head over to Huffington Post to read what they’ve got on the situation so far, but the gist of it is that teenagers were being teenagers and a young man is now dead.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I was 15, 16, 17….um….keep going….my mind was preoccupied with sex, music, books, sex, money, sex, music, sex music, and sex, which means that this 17-year old kid did what nearly any other 17-year old would have done when invited over by a 16 year-old girl. Follow the trouser snake. Go. Hunt. Play. Frolic. We might be emotional infants during those lustful years but our bodies are about as ripe as they will ever be and primed for their purpose. This is normal shit. A kid being clandestinely invited into a girl’s bedroom is pretty much as stock-standard as it gets. It’s what being young is all about.

I have neither the time nor the patience (nor the verbiage), to get into the topic of guns and their sick stranglehold on America, but what has left me more emotionally unsettled than any other aspect of this entire bloody situation is her act of denial.  Of course I’m offended by the general sense of betrayal, even though there is a small part of me that can understand that, to a 16-year old girl in Texas, it makes more sense to lie to one’s own father (who happens to be holding a gun), rather than admit to having sex (or even being interested in sexual contact) with this young man who just happens to be standing in her bedroom.

[I gotta be honest though, if you have a 16-year old daughter and find a young man in her bedroom, is it really that far from your mind that she’s probably getting it on.  Oh, right….he’s an intruder. That makes much more sense.]

I’m no biblical scholar, but even I have picked Ye Olde Gideon’s Bible from time to time, and made my way through enough of it to recall:

-Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly-

The act of betrayal is a brutal, bitter thing to behold, and while most of our transgressions pass without consequence (except our late night drinking remorse and other acts of haphazardry), it is betrayal nonetheless.  Perhaps what is most egregious is the face-to-face, do-or-die nature of the confrontation.  Most of the time we are allowed to skulk away in silence. Sometimes, not so much. In this latest situation, there are only losers, and that is a sad, sad thing.

Jesus, help me find my proper place…

Three for me

March 4, 2014

Lately I find myself applauding and searching for competence. What sounds like resignation and a lowering of standards is in fact the exact opposite–I am in awe of someone who is getting it right without any fuss, every time, without fail, because it is so bloody rare. This might seem like an ode to journeymen the world over (and maybe it is that as well), but the older I get the more often I declare “Talent ain’t worth shit”.  The world is flooded with talented people (I find it hard to not put the word in quotation marks) , but it is work that makes the artist.  I might concede that one carries the germ of artistry during the long years of artisan apprenticeship [aka: getting the shit knocked out of you and growing a thick skin], but behind the awe & beauty of a masterpiece lies years and years of work, thought, revision, deliberation, and conscious effort to achieve or approach an artistic ideal.

I didn’t know Philip Seymour Hoffman, but his death affected me about as much as an artist can, which is to say it was a mild shock to the system but a damn sight more frustrating than that.  “Sad”, “Untimely”, “Tragic”–that goes without saying, as vapid as those words can seem at times, but now that a bit of the shock has settled and the initial outpouring of grief has passed I wanted to make my own small sad circle of flowers and remember him for the craftsman and artist he was.  The world lost a great actor, and I don’t use either term lightly.  I don’t know shit about acting, but I think I know enough to realize that he was an actor whom his peers thought highly of.  That means something in my book. I don’t go to the doctor and tell him what I think, and I don’t think art in any form should be exempt from the same standards. Know your instrument, know your craft, work harder, fail better, do it again.

With that in mind I wanted to share three of his performances that remain my favourites and are the images I will most likely see whenever someone mentions his name.

This one always hits me hard. Like, personally hard. I won’t tell you which character I relate to most in that sad relationship, but damn if my heart don’t break when Scotty collapses in the car and beats himself up.  Unrequited love is brutal.

I’ve been shocked that in all of the press surrounding his death I’ve yet to see a single mention of Love Liza, which is even more surprising given the circumstances of his death. The movie is one long awkward unraveling in suburbia, filled with the banal minutiae of human existence that continue even as the world collapses around you. Tragedy strikes, but the phone bill is still due.

The last is not a clip, but a personal anecdote, which I will try and keep as brief as possible.  In my former life [read: before I arrived in Australia], I always seemed to be surrounded by people involved with film & theatre. When Hoffman and John C. Reilly performed Sam Shepard’s True West in 2000, they alternated roles every night, resulting in a long run of sold-out shows along with both critical & popular acclaim. The awe and respect amongst the theatre world was unlike anything that I had ever heard before or since, and as I sat and listened to their excited chatter (saying nothing except to ask a question, coz what the #$@! do I now about acting?) it made me glad to know that even though I couldn’t truly appreciate the breadth & depth of their achievement they were at least being recognized by those that could.

That’s what I’ll remember, and what inspires me in my own endeavors as I play supporting roles on the big stages and my leading roles on the fringe. Thank you, Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  For everything.

Bang & Beggar’s Gloves

December 9, 2013

First, a little theme music to keep you company through the course of this short post…

[And now on with the show]

Being in an independent band is rather the worst possible enterprise if one was looking to make money.  Not only is there not much money in music, (nor much music in money, if you think about it), but if you’re doing anything remotely artistic (or making a noble failed attempt), then there is a reasonable chance that the attributes & characteristics of monetary success are the very things repulsive to our sensibilities.  Even if one is a gutter poet reveling in visceral decay of the human soul, there is likely a streak of the romantic that keeps us from being dickhead money-mongers, and thus the problem: how does one survive?  Even further, how does one prosper?  Money itself is one of the many awkward evils that some of us have a hard time reconciling ourselves to, so of course we are often the most hapless & helpless when it comes to making, taking, keeping, and dealing with money.

In a perfect world, we would be so good that we would be free of the need for hawking and handouts, but the world is not perfect, and we are not that good.  With that in mind, James & I finally sucked it up and did the inevitable: we launched a kickstarter campaign.  We have recorded yet another EP, 7 new tracks that will comprise our upcoming Small Town Bruises EP. The problem (because of course there is a problem), is that we can’t afford to actually have them printed up.

We’d prefer not to have to do this at all, but unfortunately when we are playing shows we’re still getting people wanting to buy them from us, which is annoying because I think more than a few independent bands wish the world would make up its mind: ARE YOU GOING TO ACTUALLY GO ALL-DIGITAL OR NOT?!?!? The last thing anyone wants is yet another box of unsold CDs cluttering up our already cluttered flats, but it seems like it’s not time to give up on the physical formats of the world just yet.  We used to have CDs, then we sold them all (or gave them away in various states of drunken magnanimity), and rather than put the money aside like responsible adults we spent it on things like petrol, beer, & matching tuxedo t-shirts.

Small Town Bruises Kickstarter

So there you have it: a garage band with it’s hands out, asking you to have a listen and chip in to help us get our latest project out.  There’s lots of cool rewards, from the small to the mighty, and if you’d like to be the first to get your hands on our latest offering, this is the way to do it.  Of course, we could always be like a metal band or pop group, which has no problem whatsoever in selling themselves.  We actually mean that as a compliment, not necessarily equating selling with “selling out”.  Watch the way their man their merch stands, and the eagerness & enthusiasm with which they talk about their music.  They have just as much pride, conviction, and belief as any football team, and it’s enviable, to say the least.

It’s been a painful exercise, crossing this imaginary fault-line of actively begging for money as opposed to doing it passively like we always do, but not as bad as I would have thought.  It requires one to stand up and acknowledge to the entire world that: yes, this is what I do and I believe in it.  As much as we’d like to pretend our music says that for us, the self-deprecation, whether real or feigned, is just a mask that fools no one but ourselves, if that.

So, for a brief moment, I have stood up and said, loud & proud: I am in Royal Chant and I think we are worth it.

Big hugs & peace xoxo

-M

[lastly, we’ll leave you with the first single of our upcoming Small Town Bruises EP to get you in the mood :)]

Collisions this & that

July 28, 2013

Thank you everyone for your kind words regarding the passing of producer, engineer, & legendary studio owner James Bentley.  As well-known and respected as he already was, I can’t help but think that in another world, set amongst a different musical landscape, his name would have been even more widely recognized.  Yesterday, James Carthew (Royal Chant bassist), came across a very good article on James, written by David Weiss for Sonic Scoop.  At nearly the same time, I came across this home-made video set to a Creeper Lagoon song that I had previously never heard.  In a sad collision of sorts, they seemed to fit together, so I thought I’d present them to you as our own requiem for someone halfway around the world.

Death of a Studio Owner: RIP Jim Bentley of The Fort Brooklyn

My favourite line from the article is from Bones Howell, when he finishes his remarks with, “He was servicing the garage and indie rock community with a high degree of low fidelity, if that makes sense somehow.”

Yes. Yes it does. That was exactly what we’d been searching for by the time we hit Brooklyn, and we walked out with a single was as close as I’ve gotten to the sound in my head.  We had a laugh when only weeks ago, a DJ from one of Australia’s “big” stations (and no, it was not Triple-J), wrote back regarding the track. “Hey ______, had a listen and it’s a good track! It feels like it needs a better mix / master though. Is it a demo?”

No, you sad corporate twat, it’s not a demo. That’s how music actually sounds. A high degree of low fidelity indeed.

Be extra nice to each other this week…let’s see what happens.

-M

In sickness and in hell

January 29, 2013

I wanted to write about Henry Rollins.  All kinds of wild, half-baked, this-way-and-that-way stuff.  I wanted to write about Bobby Fischer listening to the radio.  I wanted to write a live review of the shitty local metal night.

Instead I came upon a large goanna sitting in the middle of the road, staring out at the world with silent eyes, still alive but definitely not for much longer.  I stopped because I got excited when I saw a large goanna stretched out on the steaming pavement, thinking I might do my good deed for the day by convincing him to stop warming himself and safely to the side.  Instead I stopped and looked at him for a while, and as I slowly realized what had happened I began to wrench by hands in useless despair.  I stopped because I love my reptilian friends.  I don’t want to hold them or try and cuddle them, I just think that they get a bad rap, and somebody has to like the poor little devils.

A kid rode by on his bike and asked what was up.  I told him I didn’t think this guy was going to make it.  By all appearances, it looked like a happy, healthy goanna.  No blood nor ripped flesh, no obvious signs of harm.  But that was the problem.  He was, to use the childish term, “smooshed”.  From the inside.  As a car passed by and he/she/it opened it’s mouth, I could see that this was another casualty of this useless modern world.  Is there any more poignant metaphor about man v  world than roadkill?  With the exception of the few deer than manage to destroy a few cars each year (good on ’em, I say), mankind and our machines have become exquisite, efficient, and emotionless killers of all walks of life.  We can do it in an instant, and we are always eager to prove, whether deliberate or accidental.  The world is ill-equipped and powerless in our path.  They have fur, teeth, hides, claws, maybe some fangs and some poison to boot.  We’ve got 2 tonnes of metal machine muscle, places to be, and pavement to get us there.  Checkmate.

I guess all this rain has put me in a more brooding, melancholy frame of mind, and all I kept uttering was, “assholes.  Sorry.  Fucking Assholes.  Sorry.” I wasn’t apologizing to the kid for swearing in front of him.  I was apologizing to the goanna. The kid picked it up and rather unlovingly tossed it into the bushes by the side of the road, and we both went on our separate ways.  I have thought of little else today.

As of right now, I do kind of generally hate everything.  Mostly, I hate that smug thought, or rather, that smug forgetfulness that envelops us in the modern world.  Having said that, it’s probably safe to say that the past wasn’t much better.  Maybe for white, slave-owning males it was way better, but I find no evidence that we are any kinder, compassionate, less violent, or less destructive than any previous generation.  We are built to destroy, and rarely are we the ones that pay the price, except when we set ourselves against each other.  When not busy killing each other we have to find substitutes.  Today this goanna got

This isn’t supposed to be all “look at me, I’m a super-sensitive twat!”  I really just wanted to apologize to this poor goanna.  He was neither pretty nor ugly, but he had definitely made it to maturity, and that seemed like the biggest kick in the guts.  These things are pretty big.  Someone did this deliberately.  (Trust me, on this country road I was on it was definitely target practice).  Somebody probably laughed.

What do we take away from this?  Well, pretty much whatever you want.  You can become bitter and disillusioned, but that is a childish cop-out.  You could try and create something good from this by using it as a catalyst for positive change & effort, but that seems a tad fanciful and almost psychotic.  We can laugh madly and become fatalists, shaking the world by it’s dirty collar with our eyes rolling in our heads, screaming like lunatics and pressing onward into the insanity.  It depends.  Whatever you want to do it, it will fit.

I just think we’re assholes.  And I’m not done thinking about that just yet.  We are sick, but some days are better than others.  This was a bad day.

Not him, but you get the idea.

Not him, but you get the idea.

Peace and love,

-M

The Question That Dares Not Speak Its Name…

July 12, 2012

Well alright now…for better or for worse I’ve had days to traipse around a city (Brisbane), and have been doing some thinking (for better or for worse).  I’ve been getting downright depressed, mostly because I can never say what I mean, but if you’re any kind of writer you should be used to that.  In fact, that is one of the curses of writing, or trying to write.  “A picture is worth a thousand words” is not just a cute & clever saying: it’s the truth.  Words separate us from our meaning, but still we rage and wail away at getting to the “truth” of it all.  Rather than try to fight this head on I’ve decided to try a different tack: there are no answers, only solutions.

What I mean is that I’d like to start talking about things that have no final answer (at least not in my opinion), but are worth looking at and mulling over and considering and debating and fussing and pulling and punching and all the glorious rest.  The greatest problem facing humanity, beyond staying alive, is being human.  We’re a shyte species, but tangents right and left, so what are are going to do about it?

Warning: I’d like to address difficult subjects that will leave everyone unhappy and no one satisfied.  There are no winners, only losers, and that is the mark that we might be on the right path.  If I do this correctly, this will be brutal and will leave me with fewer friends than I had before.  The sad thing is that is a very hard thing to accomplish.

So….here we go.  I’m not sure which subject I will so ineptly tackle next, but it’s going to be a doozy, and I will make a right mess of it.  In any case, know that I want solutions, not answers, and if you understand the minute difference we might just get along after all.

Lots to write, but for now….

Love, Peace, & Tea:

Mark

Muck + Irish Eyes

July 3, 2012

I’m really tired of being so ambitious with this blog.  You wouldn’t know it, because I post so rarely, but on this side of the ink curtain it’s a bloody mess and only getting worse.  I really hate to start every post with an apology, but I think in this case this public excoriation is more for me rather than you.

The problem is that I keep trying to tackle really big, ambitious subjects.  For instance, I tried writing about “Thinspo”, or, in layman’s terms, that subsect of blogging which is not only devoted to anorexia, but towards encouraging oneself and others to stay strong and remain committed to the ideal.  Do you have any idea how hard it is even to begin a single sentence on that subject?  To get my point across (which was admittedly a fairly convoluted one to begin with), would have required the precision of a rhetorical surgeon, and that is way, way beyond my ken.  After the first few lines any person of normal intelligence would have thought, “so you’re supporting what these poor girls are doing to themselves?”.  And the answer is “No no no no….that’s not what I meant…it’s just that I sort of….I mean, I can relate….it’s rather like….um…ug….sigh”.

I often tell my students that anything worthwhile requires work.  What I don’t tell them is how often I shy away from it.

I’ve been thinking quite a lot about writing.  Not only about “Gee, I wish I could write ______”, but about the honest capabilities of whatever writing muscle I might posses.  And I think it’s worth noting: I write songs.  As much as I salivate over poets, immerse myself in fiction, and scratch my chin at incisive social commentary, the fact remains that I am essentially engaged in a lazy man’s “art”, and yes, I use those quotation marks very, very deliberately.

It’s not that I don’t think songs are art, but from a purely verbal perspective it might perhaps be overrated.

Unfortunately, I have wandered into yet another territory that is too broad for my pen, so for now I will have to leave it be and say good night.  Before I do, here is installment #4 of Royal Chant’s Sleep Quintet.  Music is changing in every way, from it’s conception to its reception, so we have created a “thing” and have decided to curate it in our own fashion, molded out of pride and financial restraint.  It is yours to do with as you see fit.  It is ours, from the heart.

Cheers for now….it’s 11:30 and the tennis is on.  There’s some cider lying around and I shall most certainly indulge.  My plane leaves for Brisbane in 10 hours.  I’m looking forward to a spell away.  I’ll miss the cat though, among other things.

Cheers & Peace & Tea to you all…

Mark